To celebrate the best of the British countryside, we want to find the ordinary people who make an extraordinary difference to our rural way of life.
These are our Country Heroes and this is our opportunity to say thank you.
Nominate to thank your Country Hero and they could be enjoying a Country Christmas Jumbo Hamper worth over £500!
Nominations now closed!
“This is your chance to give something back, to recognise and celebrate your Country Heroes and above all; say a huge thank you!”
Jack Cordery CEO, Mole Valley Farmers
Kaleb from Amazon Prime Video's Clarkson's Farm
joins our search to find your Country Heroes
Fresh from teaching Jeremy Clarkson how to run his farm in the Cotswolds, we’ve teamed up with Kaleb Cooper who has taken a break from filming to help us find your Country Heroes. Having lived and worked his entire life in the rural community, Kaleb has first hand experience of country life and knows and appreciates the unique mix of characters who make up our rural communities. So who better to help us get the word out.
“I love the countryside and the great people who live and work here. There are loads of characters, everyone knows each other and looks out for one another, so what better way to recognise these amazing people than through Country Heroes. I am proud to be involved with finding those in our communities who make a real difference - the friends, neighbours, carers and workers who have gone above and beyond.”
Amazon Prime Video’s Clarkson’s Farm
Pride of our countryside
We’ve been committed to serving agricultural and rural communities for over 60 years and in this time, our communities have experienced everything country life can throw at them!
Life in the countryside can be both rewarding and challenging in equal measure, but our rural communities continue to be a beacon of hope and light to so many by providing a real sense of belonging and supporting our way of life.
Country Heroes is a way of celebrating the pride of our countryside and giving thanks to those unsung heroes who have gone above and beyond to help others in their rural communities.
And with Christmas on the horizon what better time to acknowledge and give thanks to those that have been the heartbeat of their community this past year.
We want to hear your inspiring stories about the selfless who may have endured difficult times to care for others and the ordinary men, women and children who have gone above and beyond to support and provide kindness to those who need it most.
They might be a farmer, neighbour, builder, teacher, local charity, care worker or fundraiser. Above all, these are people who care, protect, inspire, and nurture others - these are our Country Heroes!
We will choose twelve Country Heroes from the nominations you submit, and each will receive everything they could ever need to celebrate the perfect Country Christmas this year.
Tell us about your Country Hero and they could be celebrating with their own Country Christmas Jumbo Hamper crammed full of festive treats, indulgent goodies, cosy homeware and clothing and special gifts!
* Prize contents may vary slightly
Nominations close on Sunday 28th November 2021
Country Heroes of 2020
Highdowns Residential Home
Why Highdowns Residential Home is a Country Hero:
The pandemic has perhaps been the most challenging for care and residential homes across the country. With 14 service users on their farm, Highdowns Residential Home has gone the extra mile to provide support to their residents with varying needs.
As the country was forced to lockdown this year, the residents of the home were left unable to see family, and friends. The home responded quickly responded with a creative approach and introduced a ‘pets corner’ area, along with an area to incubate chicken and duck eggs to enable their residents to feel comforted. The staff were the only support to much of the residents for extended periods of time, but despite increased workloads, anxieties, and personal risk, they did everything possible to keep spirits high.
We thank all the Country Heroes at Highdowns Residential Home for their continual selfless act of kindness and compassion to those in their care. People like you are a credit to the care industry.
Why Tod Merson is a Country Hero:
Tod works at the Somerset Mental Health in Agriculture Group and is a volunteer at the Farming Community Network where he has provided support to so many people, including Becky.
As a volunteer, Tod has been busy offering emotional support to all those that have needed it most during difficult times. He is passionate about breaking down the barriers surrounding mental health and was involved in the making of a short film to raise awareness of mental health for those who work in farming and agriculture.
Tod shares his own personal stories and understanding of mental health to encourage those who are struggling to realise they are not alone and to seek help.
It is individuals like Tod that ensure people within our communities stay safe and get better access to the support they need through truly difficult times. Thank you Tod for doing what you do, a true Country Hero in our eyes.
Why Chris Lerwill is a Country Hero:
Chris is a dedicated beef farmer in North Devon. This year, Chris decided he wanted to thank our NHS for their incredible contributions during the pandemic.
To show his support, he donated beef from his own personal herd and rallied around to garner support from other local producers to also supply pork and lamb.
Chris delivered the meat packages during the first lockdown which was a very difficult task given the restrictions in place. However, he did not relent in his efforts and managed to secure a venue close to the hospital to park his chiller unit in.
Word soon spread and before long, cars filled with frontline staff were queuing to be served. Chris’s incredible generosity and hard work deserves recognition, and we are thrilled to be able to give something back. Thank you, Chris, for being such a big-hearted Country Hero and helping to put food on our extremely hardworking NHS workers plates!
Mrs Margaret Stanbury
Why Mrs Margaret Stanbury is a Country Hero:
The pandemic has been restrictive for so many, but Margaret went above and beyond offering virtually any form of support to those that needed it. Whether that was doing the shopping for those unable to leave their homes or arranging virtual online meetings to provide emotional support to others, to driving individuals to hospital appointments despite living an hour away herself.
On Remembrance Sunday, Margaret organised poppy-making within her community, and in total, a whopping 654 poppies were made which was later put on display around the village and War Memorial for people to remember loved ones we have lost.
There have been no limits to Margaret’s support and determination to enable countless people in her community maintain normality during this difficult time. Thank you, Margaret, for your complete selflessness, you are a true Country Hero.
Why Dave Knight is a Country Hero:
Dave Knight is a member of one of South Molton’s oldest families. He is the Chairman of the Exmoor Hill Farming Network which later became a Community Interest Company that Dave was instrumental in making happen.
The Exmoor Hill Farming Network is a farmer-led information hub across Greater Exmoor, providing support to 330 farms and 565 members in the form of knowledge exchange, peer-group support and helping mitigate feelings of isolation and loneliness. It has unified and created strong friendships for people in the Exmoor area which has been particularly important during the pandemic.
Without Dave dedicating so much time and skill to the group, it would not have become what it is today, providing support to members, farmers, and the environment in which it stands.
Thank you, Dave, for your tireless passion to serve the farming community of Greater Exmoor. It is our privilege to name you as our Country Hero.
Why Michael Harwood is a Country Hero:
TRIP is a Honiton based charity dedicated to relieving rural isolation and loneliness in east Devon by providing affordable transport, specialised disability equipment and personal befriending services to those who need it most. At the start of the pandemic, Michael volunteered his time every day at TRIP and has continued to support them throughout.
Michael set up an online referral process and telephone contact system to help keep people connected during the pandemic. Lending both his time, IT skills and patience to individuals in his community, Michael has enabled people to stay connected with their family and friends from the safety of their own homes. Without his support many would have gone quite some time without seeing their loved ones.
Now they chat away online and their faces light up as they remain connected to those most important to them.
Since March, TRIP has responded and supported over 5,000 requests for help across east Devon, none of which would have been possible without the commitment and hard work from Michael.
Thank you, Michael, for your ongoing help to ensure local communities feel the kindness of friendship and to make sure nobody feels alone in the world. We could all benefit from a Country Hero like you in our lives.
Why Suzie Wilkinson is a Country Hero:
Suzie has gone above and beyond to help people in her community that have needed it most as part of her ongoing commitment to the Farming Community Network.
Nominee Patricia was suffering from violent domestic abuse and was under the pressures of financial strain whilst caring for young children when Suzie entered her life.
Patricia feels without Suzie’s selfless support during this particularly difficult time in her life she may not have had the strength to carry on. Suzie offered a shoulder to cry on, provided practical advice and an lent an ear whenever it was needed, this support gave Patricia the courage and strength to make big changes in her life and enable her to go on to achieve many great successes.
Suzie’s support and kindness has helped so many in her community and we feel very privileged to be involved in giving her the thanks she deserves. So thank you Suzie, you really do signify what a Country Hero is.
Why Andrew Sheldon is a Country Hero:
During the pandemic, Andrew took it upon himself to set up his own Facebook page: Andrew Sheldon The Somerset Crooner.
Despite working hard on the farm, Andrew still found the time to sing along on Facebook and share songs every day to help lift the spirits of his local community. He even took song requests to ensure all music genres were covered and everyone could sing along with him!
Andrew’s positive energy through difficult times has brightened the day for countless other people and we were delighted to brighten up one of his days in return. Thank you Andrew, you are our most positively energetic and colourful Country Hero!
Why Julie Dowton is a Country Hero:
Julie has been volunteering for over 15 years, assisting commoners grazing Bodmin Moor. Julie is passionate about the welfare of animals and works tirelessly to campaign for animal rights. During the lockdown, Julie was working completely alone but never once faltered, and has even extended her time to helping the police force with local matters to ensure her community is kept safe.
Julie has dedicated her life to Bodmin Moor, it’s livestock and the community it serves - she is a true asset to Cornwall’s Bodmin Moor.
Alongside her community, we give thanks to Julie for her continual dedication to her rural community and it gives us great pride that she has been recognised as a Country Hero.
Farmer Phil Rogers
Why Farmer Phil Rogers is a Country Hero:
Phil Rogers, or Farmer Phil as he is more affectionately known in his community, has been supplying fresh vegetables to residents for years.
At the start of the pandemic, he created a box scheme, delivering hand-cut vegetables to those in need during lockdown, and even travelled to outlets to ensure fresh fruit could also be included in his boxes. Putting his own health and wellbeing to one side, he has devoted his time to ensuring his local community is well stocked and fed.
Thank you Farmer Phil for your hard work and continuous dedication throughout this difficult time, there are so many people in your community who are grateful for your ongoing efforts and we are delighted to extend their gratitude with a Country Christmas Jumbo Hamper.
Country Heroes are selfless individuals who go out of their way to help others and Farmer Phil is a perfect example of one!
Lucy & Nigel Corbett
Why Lucy & Nigel Corbett are Country Heroes:
For many, the pandemic has forced them to remain indoors, isolating, and unable to continue with their regular daily routine.
Lucy and Nigel Corbett have been the crutch to several members in their community; they have spent hours shopping for the elderly and those shielding, and have kept in touch via phone or email when people have felt lonely. They have been there throughout providing a helping hand and a listening ear.
Alongside this they have ensured the church grounds are kept beautiful so they can be enjoyed by everybody within the community, and they have done all of this whilst maintaining their farm and livestock.
People like Lucy and Nigel have been a shining example of selflessly supporting each other to get through these difficult times together and that is why they are so deserving of being named as Country Heroes. Thank you, Lucy and Nigel, for connecting your community through these challenging times, it is appreciated by many.
Why Alan Wells is a Country Hero:
Following a career in the military, serving his country, Alan retired and has since dedicated his time as a volunteer paramedic and a parish councillor and he does all of this whilst running a rescue and rehabilitation centre for birds of prey!
Since the start of the pandemic, Alan has been working tirelessly on the front line as part of the ambulance crew, taking people in need to and from the hospital. He has been extremely busy but has remained dedicated to his rescue centre which has seen demand for his services soar these past few months.
Joanne has nominated Alan because she feels he thoroughly deserves recognition for all that he does for others. Not only does Alan support his community with all the above, but he has also found the time to work closely with Joanne’s autistic son, along with other young children and adults in his community to help them feel connected and included.
At a time when people are left feeling isolated and the demand for support services at an all time high, people like Alan have enabled their community to feel protected and cared for. We are honoured to present him with a Country Christmas Jumbo Hamper and give him the recognition he so deserves.
On behalf of the people you care for and the birds of prey you rescue, thank you Alan, you are a real Country Hero to many a human and feathered friend.
Terms and conditions
1. The promoter & owner of this competition is Mole Valley Farmers.
2. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over except employees of Mole Valley Farmers and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
4. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
5. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter can be found at moleonline.com/countryheroes and via Mole Valley Farmers Facebook page.
6. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
7. Closing date for entry will be Sunday 28th November. After this date then no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
9. The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows: Please submit your Country Hero nomination via our online form found at moleonline.com/countryheroes, 12 winners will be drawn by the judges of the competition. All context around the considered factors for judging can be found at moleonline.com/countryheroes.
10. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
11. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
12. The prize is as follows: There are 12 prizes available for the Country Heroes winners. There will be 1 prize per winner to the value of £500 worth of Country Christmas products. The prizes may vary but will be of equal value. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice. Product prizes cannot be returned / refunded.
13. Winners will be chosen: Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges based on the criteria set out at moleonline.com/countryheroes. Winners will be notified via telephone by Friday 3rd of December. Follow up emails, text messages and other communications maybe used to help arrange delivery / collection of prizes to the Country Heroes. Winners names may also be shared on our social media channels, this will be discussed with the winners prior to any posting / sharing. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
14. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected / is delivered.
15. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
16. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
17. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
18. The winner will be asked to give consent for the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent. In the event the winner withdraws their consent, their details will be removed from online publications and will not be included in any re-prints or new printed publications. Please note that any printed publications that pre-date the withdrawal of consent would remain in circulation.
19. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
Catch up with your Country Heroes
Inspiring True Stories | Winner Announcements | Behind the Scenes
Inspiring True Stories
Behind the Scenes